A Guide to Acute Injury Management
THE BEST MANAGEMENT FOR ACUTE INJURIES IS PREVENTION!
Always warm up for 20-30minutes before exercise and cool down after.
WARM UP SHOULD INCLUDE:
- Low intensity aerobic exercise such as jogging
- Dynamic stretching of all muscle groups
- Sport-specific drills
- Moderate intensity aerobic exercise progressing to high intensity sprints.
COOL DOWN SHOULD INCLUDE:
- Light aerobic exercise/running for 5min with deep breathing to return the body to resting rate.
- Static stretches – 30sec holds, 3 repetitions
- Rehydrate and refuel with lean protein
- Do 20min light cycling or jogging the following day with a stretching session.
THE MAJORITY OF INJURIES IN CONTACT SPORTS INVOLVE CORKS AND STRAINS TO THE LOWER LIMBS.
IN THE FIRST 24-72 HOURS POST-INJURY, IT’S IMPORTANT TO APPLY P.R.I.C.E.R.
P – PREVENTION. The best management of an acute injury is prevention. Always be prepared for competition by training, using the right equipment, warming up and cooling down.
R – REST. Initial rest from aggravating activities is important to allow healing. Gentle movement can be helpful, but do no HARM (heat, alcohol, running, firm massage)
I – ICE. Apply ice immediately in a damp towel (never directly to the skin) to reduce swelling, bleeding and for pain relief. Apply for 20-30min every 2 hours.
C – COMPRESSION. Wear compression garments like Skins or use a compression bandage to help limit bleeding and swelling.
E – ELEVATION. Elevate the injured part above the level of the heart to reduce pooling of blood and fluid in the injured area.
R – REFERRAL. It may be appropriate to see a health care professional such as a physiotherapist. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation to get back on the field as soon as possible.
Your physiotherapist can also provide strapping or braces for return to sport or refer you to other health professionals should imaging or specialist input be required.
This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy Centre.